Saturday, September 09, 2006

The True Colors of Iran's Khatami

Fire of Liberty

Jeff Jacoby, columnist for the Boston Globe, has a good piece out today on Mohamed Khatami and his "speaking tour" of the US. Now while the MSM, the institutions that invited him and various members of the state department are lauding this "moderate" of Iran as someone the US should be welcoming and willing to talk to with regards to its nuke program and our general policy towards Iran, Jacoby has made great efforts to provide his readers with a short but cocise look at the true nature of this so-called moderate. Here a brief sample:
His election as president came only after religious authorities disqualified 234 potential competitors they considered too liberal. In his own writings, Khatami has insisted that "only those who have attended religious seminaries should have a voice in government." Separation of church and state? Not for this theocrat.

And he is no more opposed to terrorism than he is to theocracy. As minister of culture and Islamic guidance in the 1980s, Khatami oversaw the creation of Hezbollah, the deadly terrorist group that would kill more Americans prior to 9/11 than any other terrorist organization on earth. During the recent war in Lebanon, he hailed Hezbollah as "a shining sun that illuminates and warms the hearts of all Muslims." Throughout Khatami's term of office, the US State Department identified Iran as the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism. It was on his watch that President Bush named Iran a part of the "Axis of Evil."

In 1998, Khatami's intelligence agents brutally murdered Darioush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh, two well-known leaders of Iran's liberal opposition. The following year, government thugs attacked student dissidents at Tehran University. Several students were killed. Hundreds were arrested and tortured.

Many Iranians had hoped that Khatami's accession to office would mean more freedom of speech and of the press. But he presided over the shutting down of at least 85 newspapers and the prosecution of numerous journalists. Reporters Without Borders called Iran under Khatami "the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East." It was a prison as well for Iran's religious minorities, all of which were severely persecuted. In a letter protesting the National Cathedral'’s invitation to Khatami, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Felice Gaer, notes that during Khatami'’s tenure "“Jews, Christians, Sunni and Sufi Muslims, Baha'’is, dissident Shia Muslims, and others . . . faced systematic harassment, discrimination, imprisonment, torture, and even execution based on their religious beliefs."”
If we are serious about spreading the light of Lady Liberty onto a distant shore and bringing about the downfall of the mullachracy in Iran, then we've got to refuse to give these folks visas to traipse all over our country espousing a faux image of Iran. It's one thing to give them a visa to the UN but I have to say give me a break for allowing them to leave the confines of Turtle Bay or the lodgings. Isolation of the mad mullahs might not be something that is popular with the MSM or university crowd but its worth it to the people of Iran who toil under the mullah's jackboot and wish for the rights we take for granted.

No comments: